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Archive for September, 2011

I have always had an overactive imagination!  When I was a little girl I believed that there were dinosaurs living in the small forest behind my house and that aliens would someday come to take me to a place called spaghetti planet.  Many times in my pink, flowery bedroom I would make believe that I could talk to angels and once even recreated the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (you’ll have to look that one up in the Bible – Revelation 19:7-9).  I pretended to talk to Jesus and all the saints and martyrs while eating fruit and bread and drinking tea.

 

This trait I had was sometimes a good thing and sometimes not!  All it would take was for me to hear one small piece of scary news and I would have nightmares for weeks.  I was afraid of strange things because my mind would run off to that place I heard about on the news or in someone’s nearby conversation.  Here’s a funny example:  for many months I was afraid of motorcycles because I heard about a gang called Hell’s Angels that supposedly was going around killing people.  I would imagine them crashing through my house riding on their screaming two-wheeled monsters and into my bedroom to take me away as a sacrifice to the Devil (weird, I know, but that’s how the story went back then).  I was also afraid of dark, unlit roads because of serial killers who had escaped from their insane asylums and I was petrified of deep, murky water (it might be hiding some kind of hideous creature).  Needless to say, my parents were careful about what I was allowed to watch due to this overactive mind of mine.  After all, they were the ones waking up in the middle of the night to comfort me back to sleep!

 

Most of the time, especially in my younger years, I could push out the scary thoughts and focus on the happy ones!  I would lie on my bed at night and think of different Bible stories or characters and play it out in my mind like episodes of popular television shows.  I used to wonder if when I got to heaven God would let me watch the Bible unfold in living color on a magical movie screen and get to witness how it all really happened!

 

Now that I am an adult, I still let my imagination get the best of me.  I still can’t watch the tragic events on the news channels and I still think about characters in the Bible and what their personalities must have been like.  I often wonder… how did they feel?  What emotions were they having?  What were they thinking?  How did they express themselves?  How did they handle life?  What did they look like?  What was it like to be them?

 

This book is an expression of that curiosity.  Hundreds of hours of research into the Hebrew culture of that time are combined with my thoughts of what life must have been like for them.  Through this story I hope to introduce people to Ancient Israelite customs that are deeply intricate to our beliefs today.  Their lives were so much different than ours, which we often forget when reading God’s Word.  We wander around the Scriptures, reading stuff we do not completely understand.  It is my desire to help encourage a hunger in all of my readers for more of the Bible, and to put themselves into the shoes of the people God talks about.  Maybe this will help us get a better grasp on our own lives as well.

 

I chose Rahab, the reformed prostitute, because her incredible story touches me.  I think she must have had a very difficult life, full of pain and heartache, before she was saved and grafted into the Israelite family.  The loathsome title frequently attached to her name speaks volumes to what she must have had to endure throughout her young life.  Yet she was a strong woman, able to overcome disappointment and almost certain abuse to be used by God through her willingness to believe in Him.  Rahab had a faith so solid she went down in biblical history for it!  It was her faith that saved her, enabling her to exchange the unwanted label of prostitute for redeemed daughter of God.

 

I want to make a disclaimer:  this book is FICTION, although based on some Biblical accounts.  A few of the people in this book did actually live and breathe and walk the earth, but these are just my ideas on what it must have felt like to be Rahab.

 

Please read your Bible to see the true story (Joshua 1-6).  There also will be various scripture references at the end of the book to help you.  God bless you as you come with me on this journey back in time to about 1400 BC…

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WARNING SIGNS

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

Have you ever noticed how many signs there are all around us?  It seems like they are everywhere we go and affect everything we do:   CAUTION signs, DANGER signs, WARNING signs, RESTRICTED AREA signs, and many others.  If these signs are ignored, you are taking your life into your own hands, or putting someone else’s life into danger.

For example, if you see a “DON’T WALK” signal, you know that if you ignore it, you may be hit by a car and could be hurt or even killed.  If you see a road sign marking the dangerous curves ahead, you better slow down or you could get in a serious accident.  If you see a sign telling you not to touch an electric fence, you know that you will get some immediate pain upon disobedience.  Also, if you see a sign stating, “CHILDREN AT PLAY”, then you better slow to almost a crawl, because now SOMEONE ELSE’S life is at stake.

Do we ignore these signs?  Usually not!  If we do, there are always consequences or penalties.  If we suffer the consequences, are we surprised?  No!  We knew we should’ve listened, right?

It is the same way with God.  He loves us and wants the best for our lives.  The scripture says that His plan is to “prosper” us and to give us “hope and a future”.  Yet, we don’t always see that.  Instead we choose to ignore Him and do our own thing, and then we get upset when the consequences come.

Jeremiah 29:19a

For they have not listened to my words,” declares the LORD, “words that I sent to them again and again…

Do we think God is always out to boss us around and tell us what to do?  Do we think God has a bunch of useless rules that we don’t want to follow?   Do we think that His words in the Bible are outdated or that they don’t apply to us?

Think about it!  Why do we have warning signs in our everyday lives?  TO KEEP US SAFE!  TO KEEP THOSE AROUND US SAFE!  It is for our protection, not for our destruction.  I would be scared to ignore a sign that said, “WARNING:  Unstable Cliffs” or “CAUTION:  Hazardous Materials” or “DANGER:  High Voltage”.  I think:  I don’t want to die!  I don’t want to get severely injured!  I don’t want to feel pain – I don’t like pain!

This same attitude needs to be applied to our spiritual and emotional lives.  How can we not think that our Creator, the One who loves us more than anyone else, has anything less than our total welfare on His mind?

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